Olympics: Day Three Finals Heat Sheets; Four Straight Gold-Medal Battles On Tap

Jul 26, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Ryan Murphy (USA) in the men's 100m backstroke semifinals during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro -- USA Today Sports

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Olympics: Day Three Finals Heat Sheets; Four Straight Gold-Medal Battles On Tap

The heat sheets have been posted for third morning of finals action at the 2021 Olympics. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. Tokyo time Tuesday morning (9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT Monday in the USA), the session will include four finals in succession with no break for semifinals: the men’s 200 freestyle, women’s 100 backstroke, men’s 100 backstroke and women’s 100 breaststroke. Semifinals for the women’s 200 freestyle will open the session, and then two heats of the men’s 200 butterfly and women’s 200 IM will wrap things up.

For the men’s 200 free final, Great Britain’s world No. 1 Duncan Scott holds the top qualifying time out of semifinals with his 1:44.60, while American Kieran Smith continued his excellent Olympics by qualifying second in 1:45.07. Three other swimmers in the final (Tom Dean, Hwang Sun-Woo and Martin Malyutin) have all broken 1:45 this year, while Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys has the quickest lifetime best of the bunch.

The women’s 100 back saw the Olympic record go down four times over the first two rounds, with Kylie MasseRegan Smith and Kaylee McKeown claiming the record in successive preliminary heats before Smith broke it again in semifinals. They are the three fastest women in history in the event, and they will battle for Olympic gold with McKeown in lane three, Smith in four and Masse in five.

Ryan Murphy holds down lane four for as he tries to defend his Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100 back, but 21-year-old Kliment Kolesnikov of Russia will be right there as Kolesnikov actually has the top time so far in Tokyo, a 52.15 from prelims. Expect China’s Xu Jiayu and Russia’s Evgeny Rylov to also be in the hunt.

Finally, Lilly King faces her toughest challenger in the 100 breast in years as South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker broke King’s Olympic record from 2016 in prelims and then edged out the American in their semifinal heat.

Meanwhile, the USA’s Katie Ledecky led the way into the women’s 200 free semifinals, and world-record holder Kristof Milak has the top spot in the men’s 200 fly. American Kate Douglass was first in the women’s 200 IM prelims.